Parthian Press 2015
Living in the Delta, Landeg White’s Collected and New Poems, brings together work from nine previous collections. Welsh by birth, White is a citizen of the world, having lived and written and taught on three continents. It is a Welsh tradition of course to be a traveller, voyager and settler in all parts of the planet, and White’s poetry embodies this. It also reflects the ancient Welsh tradition of the poet-scholar; he is a noted academic editor, translator and historian – an authority on Africa and Portuguese literature.
Fortunately for us he is a poet too, talented and dedicated. The experience of reading his writing make you want to read more – it is warm, humane, intelligent and immensely readable. Commentators on his work are apt to use politically incorrect words and phrases such as ‘masterpiece’ and ‘major poet’. He is a brilliant comic writer for instance, and can move in an instant from sly wit to laugh-out-loud funny. Yet suddenly with a poem like ‘African Incident’ you are in the midst of tragedy. He is a moving celebrant of love and family and community; a passionate, meticulous observer of the natural world – it is difficult to think of a living writer who is a more complete poet.
“White addresses fundamental human issues unflinchingly.”